Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Comments and likes for the fourth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News


I left the following comment on The Way Out at Kunstler's blog yesterday.
I'm showing "The End of Suburbia" to my students again this week.  Other than the stats on natural gas, which have improved from the perspective of business as usual because of fracking, the movie has held up pretty well over the past decade since it came out.  Your essay drives home an updated version of the message at the end of the movie; the future will be local, not global.  As for how my students will react, in addition to making some pithy observations that I will share with you and your readers next week, I'm sure they'll search for answers on the Internet.  Here's to hoping they find my Guide to entries that contain answers to 'The End of Suburbia'; it will make things easier for them.
That I'm showing End of Suburbia convinced me to change the subject of my next retrospective to entries that got the most comments and likes this year, regardless of page views.  One of those just happens to be Guide to entries that contain answers to 'The End of Suburbia', which was posted on November 17, 2013, but earned all of its eight comments during November and December of 2014, thanks to Nebris and I going back and forth.  Consequently, it gets an honorable mention as well as pride of place so that this entry better serves my students.

The entry has also continued to earn page views.  As of this time last year, it had 321 page views as documented in Student worksheets for the second and third year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.  By March 20th of this year, it had moved up to 836 page views.  Linking to it at Kunstler's blog added 78 more in 12 hours.  I'm sure my students will add even more this week as they search for answers.

Follow over the jump for more entries that earned eight comments during the blogging year just past as well as those that got the equivalent of five or more likes at Google Plus.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Earth Hour 2015


I concluded D&D alignment charts for 'The Walking Dead' with the following footnote.
I forgot that yesterday was Earth Hour.  I'll be sure to post an entry about the event tomorrow or the day after.
Here is the post as promised.

First, the official promotional video.

Earth Hour 2015 is about getting the crowd to use #YourPower to change climate change. Take action and join the global movement today at http://earthhour.org/join-the-movement.
Next, Earth Hour 2015 Highlights.

In 2015, millions unite to light the way toward climate action.
Earth Hour is celebrated in 172 countries, with over 1400 landmarks switching off lights this Saturday.
I turned off my lights for Earth Hour.  Did you?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

D&D alignment charts for 'The Walking Dead'



Full-sized image here.

I concluded Conversations with The Archdruid for the fourth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News by reminding my readers that today is entertainment Sunday and to "watch for a special entry about the season finale of 'The Walking Dead.'"*  As my readers can figure out from the title and graphic above, I'm presenting Dungeons and Dragons alignments charts for "The Walking Dead."  I figured that if it worked so well for Game of Thrones, it should work just as well for my favorite zombie apocalypse show.

The chart above is for the first season.  Follow over the jump for charts from the second and successive seasons along with a special musical feature.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Conversations with The Archdruid for the fourth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News


It's time to be a good environmentalist and recycle.
In the previous retrospective for the fourth year of this blog, I noticed a pattern recurring among my most popular entries.
Now that I've taken care of the top post of the past year, I look at the rest of the 20 most read entries and see themes that group the top posts, much as I did in previous years.  In fact, I see some of the same themes as in previous years.  Not only do I repeat myself, but it seems that my readers enjoy it.
So far, the recurring themes have been Game of Thrones/A> and student worksheets.  Today's installment in perennial blogging topics features conversations with The Archdruid, in which I reformat and repost my comments to The Archdruid Report along with any replies they elicit.  This year, there are four such entries.  As I wrote last year, Greer is good for my blogging.

Just like last year, the fifth most read entry of the year just past was a discussion about politics, The Archdruid on Fascism, part 2 posted June 16, 2014.  It earned 694 page views according to the raw counter, but never got into the default counter's all-time top ten despite beating last year's top Archdruid post, A conversation with The Archdruid about Objectivism, Satanism, and the GOP, by one page view according to the same counter.  That post managed to make it into the all-time top ten at number five.  It's still there at ninth place with 715 page views according to the default counter.

The entry took off on a tangent from Greer's observation that Fascism wasn't really a movement of the Right, although that's where it tends to find its allies, but instead an authoritarian movement of a disenfranchised center.  That's not how I advertised it at Kunstler's blog that day.
Kunstler: So, my question would be: when do the political recriminations kick in? Pretty soon, I reckon, and when they do, expect them to be fiercely perverse. The theme of who lost Iraq? may cost more than who lost Vietnam?

Me: We’re likely to have both at the same time the next two years, as the last Boomer who could likely win the presidency, H. R. Clinton, will probably be running. Her husband was the focus of a lot of “who lost Vietnam” sentiment, and I’m sure what’s left of it will follow her around, along with a whole lot of “who lost Iraq” from her time as Secretary of State.

But that’s normal politics. Worse things can happen. We ended up with McCarthyism in the wake of “who lost China?” Germany ended up with losing the democracy, such as it was, of the Weimar Republic and ended up with [gaining] the Third Reich over the question of who lost the war. The myth of the internal enemy giving Germany the knife in the back resulting in surrender took hold as the answer. We all saw how that turned out, but people may forget the lessons of history.

As you have been saying for more than a decade and repeated just last week, Americans will elect maniacs to keep their standard of living. A lot of those maniacs will be carrying a cross and wrapped in the American flag. You aren’t the only one warning us about Fascism in our future. Greer the Archdruid did as well. I have some observations on his warnings just in time for his return to blogging this week.
That got a "Here here Crazy Eddie...Well Said" from And So it Goes at Kunstler's blog, along with an Islamophobic thread that spilled over into the comments for this entry on my blog, one that I'll convert into an entry of its own later.  In fact, the comments to my post look to be a very rich source for future entries, including the next retrospective.  Stay tuned.

That's not all.  Follow over the jump for the three other entries that originated in the comments section of The Archdruid Report and ended up in the year's top twenty.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Anniversary of Alaska's Good Friday Earthquake


Today is another anniversary of an event I include in my geology lectures, the 1964 Good Friday Alaska Earthquake.  In the interest of showing instead of telling, I'll let Accuweather's latest installment of Weather History do my work.

On March 27th, 1964 at 5:36 PM AST, a 9.2 M megathrust earthquake tossed south-central Alaska.
This story ranks right up there with my recounting of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake in its importance to my lecture about seismology.  In particular, it features two phenomena the Northridge Earthquake, a tsunami, which the Accuweather video depicts, and liquifaction, which it glosses over.  That latter process resulted in the Turnagain Heights landslide.  I show my students the photo below of it and recount a story I first read in National Geographic about a woman who escaped from her house in that neighborhood, setting her children on the top of each slump scarp then climbing up after them, all as the slump blocks continued to slide down and out to sea.  It certainly personalizes the disaster for my students.

Student worksheets for the fourth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News


In the previous retrospective for the fourth year of this blog, I noticed a pattern recurring among my most popular entries.
Now that I've taken care of the top post of the past year, I look at the rest of the 20 most read entries and see themes that group the top posts, much as I did in previous years.  In fact, I see some of the same themes as in previous years.  Not only do I repeat myself, but it seems that my readers enjoy it.
The recurring theme of the previous entry was  "Game of Thrones."  In this entry, I examine student worksheets, the theme of one of last year's retrospectives.

The most read of all the posts about student worksheets from the past year was Corn questions from 'Food, Inc.' worksheet posted on October 18, 2014.  I had 1245 page views according to the raw counter as of the end of March 20, 2015, and 822 page views according to the default counter.  Those were enough for third place according to the raw counter and second place according to the default counter, which puts the entry in eighth place for the entire history of the blog so far.  As for how that happened, I'll be a good environmentalist and recycle.
Corn questions from 'Food, Inc.' worksheet wins the back catalog trophy for February with its fifth place finish overall.  It earned its 239 page views this month through web search, as "food inc worksheet answers" was the number one search term during the past 30 days.  It is also number eight on the all time list with 737 total page views, knocking "Game of Thrones--names, geology, and security theater" off the list.  After being in the monthly top ten every month since October, that comes as no surprise.
According to the raw counter, it's still getting page views as it's up to 1287 page views.  Conversely, the default counter shows it losing page views, as it's currently down to 794 page views.  This is despite the default counter displaying 37 page views during the past seven days, 10 of them during the past 24 hours.  This is the main reason I don't use the default counter to rank entries any more; page views can actually decrease.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the student worksheet entries that ended up on this year's top 20.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

'Insurgent' tops box office in opening weekend


I teased my readers three times then offered a rain check.
I told my readers to "stay tuned for a delayed entertainment entry about "Insurgent," the sequel to Divergent as well as more retrospectives" at the end of Top post for the fourth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News: James Robertson.  My readers will have to wait, as breaking news is shouldering that planned post aside.
It's time to redeem that rain check.  Follow over the jump for news about the movie from Daily Variety by way of Reuters and Vox plus my comments about the first movie.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Gas and oil move up, but still relatively low


Last week, the story was Corner station in No Man's Land as oil retreats.
[G]as prices fell as oil hit multi-year lows, at least in my old neighborhood.  Yesterday, the three stations down the street from the corner station in my old neighborhood lowered their price from $2.19 to $2.17.  Meanwhile, the corner station is camped out in No Man's Land by selling regular at $2.49.  They raised their price while their competition lowered theirs.  This will probably not end well for them, as they are 21 cents above the Detroit average of $2.28 at GasBuddy.  In contrast, their competition is a dime lower, exactly where they usually are.  That's why I filled up Ruby at one of them.

Meanwhile, OilPrice.Net lists yesterday's close for WTI at $43.46, a six-year low for the commodity.  That makes the price rise since January look like a dead-cat bounce.  Brent also fell to $53.43, not as low as it was in January, but $10 off of where it was a month ago.  Not a dead-cat bounce, but close.
This week, I didn't have to fill up either of our cars, but I had to run an errand for class in my old neighborhood, so I checked in.  The corner station had dropped its price, but only five cents to $2.44 for regular.  Meanwhile, the three stations down the street raised theirs to $2.39 for regular.  According to GasBuddy, these prices are just a touch higher than usual for the neighborhood, as they were only three cents below the Detroit average of $2.42 instead of a dime lower.  Prices may or may not drop, but they shouldn't increase over the next week unless oil moves up sharply.

OilPrice.Net shows that might be happening.  West Texas Intermediate (WTI) closed up today $1.70 to $49.21, while Brent jumped up $1.37 to $56.48.  That's five dollars higher than last week but still nowhere near as high as they were this time last week.  Once again, I'm going to be a good environmentalist and recycle.
As for the future, I'll repeat what I wrote last month week: "As long as oil stays at these levels, Detroit and Michigan averages over $2.50 by the end of the month seem unlikely."
Instead, a different prediction looks more likely, one I made in December: "Expect prices at the pump to remain below $3.00 until at least March, if not later."  That one is almost a lock.

Examiner.com article on Driskell poll lead

Gretchen Driskell, seen here with former U.S. Representative Mark Schauer at a campaign event in February, leads Tim Walberg by five points in the first poll of the contest for Walberg's seat.
Gretchen Driskell for Congress on Facebook, with permission.
Driskell leads Walberg by five points in first poll of campaign
While the election is more than a year away and Democratic State Representative Gretchen Driskell only declared her candidacy for Republican U.S. Representative Tim Walberg's seat in Congress last month, she has already achieved a small victory in her quest for higher office.

Yesterday morning, Inside Michigan Politics released the results of a poll it commissioned as a press release.  This first poll in the contest for Michigan's Seventh Congressional District showed Driskell leading Walberg by five points, 42 percent to 37 percent with 21 percent undecided.

Driskell's campaign welcomed the news.  On the campaign's Facebook page, she wrote "this poll shows what I've been hearing from working families, seniors, and small business owners every day: voters are ready for a representative who works on their behalf."

Dennis Darnoi, Director of Analytics and Research for Revsix, which conducted the poll, said in the press release "these numbers show what astute political observers already know, namely Michigan's 7th Congressional District can be a competitive battleground. In a presidential year, and with the right candidate and the right strategy, Democrats have a real opportunity to win this seat."
More at the link in the headline.

This is the first Examiner.com article I've written for the 2016 campaign and there are nearly 20 months to go.  Looks like it will be a long slog.  I'm sure I'm up for it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

'Game of Thrones' for the fourth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News


Now that I've taken care of the top post of the past year, I look at the rest of the 20 most read entries and see themes that group the top posts, much as I did in previous years.  In fact, I see some of the same themes as in previous years.  Not only do I repeat myself, but it seems that my readers enjoy it.

One of those themes is "Game of Thrones," which provided the most read entry of the second year of the blog.  The comments to that entry led to a follow-up, Game of Thrones D&D character alignment charts posted April 6, 2014, which became the second most read entry during the fourth year of the blog.  It earned 1479 page views almost entirely from web search and being linked to from other blogs--no promotion at the usual places from me!

Follow over the jump for the other popular entry based on the HBO fantasy series.